I’m back from Italy!!

I got back Saturday morning at 5AM and didn’t fully recover from jet lag until today (Tuesday).

I was so tired yesterday that I opted for a nap at 5:30 in the evening, and didn’t wake up until 7:30AM this morning.  That’s 14 hours of dead sleep.  I needed it.  And I dreamt of a scarab beetle which is a good sign.  I didn’t even know what a scarab beetle was until my dream clearly stated that it was indeed a scarab and none other.

I returned to my normal shlog of worries when I got home.  I think I’ll be okay in the money department (I think, but not 100% sure), I’m mostly worried about that Goddamned lawsuit.  I haven’t heard anything from anyone!

I prayed when I was in Florence.  I found a huge church that didn’t require an entrance fee or a line to get in and knelt down to pray.

Me praying – “I’m sorry I never go to church to pray but just in case this works, can you drop the lawsuit against me?  No wait, that sounds really selfish.  I also pray for my family, my mom, dad, brother, niece, her baby…..I pray for health and happiness to all of them.  Okay, now can you drop the lawsuit against me?  Oh shit…..this isn’t working, is it.  The more I pray, the more I sound like an asshole.  How long have I been praying?  Where’s Jill?  I bet she thinks I’m a religious zealot for praying.  Especially for praying this long.  Okay I think that’s enough for now.  When I get to the Vatican I’ll do better.”

When I got to the Vatican, there’s no place to kneel or pray.  It’s shoulder to shoulder with everyone looking up at Michelangelo’s masterpiece.  That’s in the Sistine Chapel.  The actual church of the Vatican is yet another long line, shoulder to shoulder inside St. Peter’s Basilica.  We all agreed to skip that one.

The Vatican is not what I expected.  I thought it was a large open space like an amusement park.  Only instead of rides, they have churches, chapels, steeple’s, fountains, a predominant gift shop in the center.  You’d be able to get pictures with smiling nuns and archbishops wearing their pointy hats.  Hop in one of the many confessional booths and for a small stipend, be absolved of all your sins.  Check out the modest dwellings of God’s most humblest servants…you know, that sort of thing.

But it’s not open at all and I didn’t see any smiling nuns.  They don’t let you leave the museum once you’re in it.  You’re hustled inside after standing in line (first you have to find the correct line) and then you keep walking.  And walk some more.  Shoulder to shoulder with other people who are walking behind you, and in front of you.  You curse at those stopping to take pictures – those who hold up the line.

You can’t read the inscriptions on anything or you’ll get trampled.

I’m not a person who enjoys crowds.  I tend to keep this tidbit to myself, and I do a pretty good job of it, but friends take notice when they see me standing by the exit of a crowded place.

I did see a lot of Egyptian art and a few mummy’s which surprised me because, well, what the hell do they have to do with the Catholic church?!

I saw a homeless man sitting outside on the hot pavement leaning his back against the Vatican wall – makes you wonder just how “holy” the place really is.

I sound awful.  Truly and dreadfully awful.  But I also seen a few old women looking haggard and dehydrated trying to get a few coins from the tourists standing in line.  They held out their shabby little cups and shakily pleaded, “Help” or “Please”.  Until they got shooed away by military men with their finger on the trigger of a semi-automatic (their finger was always on the trigger, not just to scare away old lady’s).

But I mean, the Vatican HAS to have some refuge for these people, right?  Hold on, let me look it up….yeah, they do.  Thanks to Pope Francis, the newest Pope!  He’s cracking down on all the scoundrels who use the Vatican’s bank for the sole purpose of tax evasion too.  He closed 4,000 accounts already.  He’s the real deal.  Best Pope yet.

Totally off subject.  Where was I?  Ah yes, my trip to Italy.

The best part was strolling around Rome in my pajama’s and drinking beer that I hid in a brown paper bag.  I’m a simple person.  Some say I’m too simple.

On one of these outings, where I was strolling a nearby park, my travel mate, my office manager, asked me why I haven’t blogged about the trip yet.

Me – “You know about my blog?”

I haven’t told anyone about my blog in the longest time.  I made a promise not to.  I was so careful…I didn’t believe her until she gave me proof.

Apparently it happened during one of my beer binging nights (so it could’ve been any night really).  When I was telling her that I shoot video’s of my trips.  I must have used her phone to pull up one of my blog video’s.  I’m actually narcissistic when it comes to those videos.  I love when people watch them.

The scary thing is, I have no recollection of this happening.  But showing a video of a former trip is something I would totally do.

The thing with having your friends read your blog is, they think everything is about them.  All that I write about is inspired by them.  It can be something so completely innocent, but just seeing their name, or assuming their name, can bring an unwanted feeling of….”oh shit, is she about to write something horrible about me?”

It’s a HORRIBLE feeling!  And having that fear in the back of your mind while reading my blog will cause anyone to assume the worst.  And in turn, hate me for it.

People who either trust me or have a healthy dose of self-esteem can stomach reading my blog.  The rest don’t leave it to chance.  They opt out.

Would I opt out too if I were them?  No.  I’d want to hang out with them more to see what they write about me and if they don’t mention me I’d be like, WTF man?  I’m not important enough?  That probably means I have the self-esteem to stomach it, but not the trust.  Ultimately I would stop reading it entirely because it doesn’t involve me.

I can write a lot about my trip to Italy.  How we were nearly thrown out of both hotels (my fault entirely both times), how Jill’s mother thought she lost me inside the Sistine Chapel (I could be found near the exit), snapping an ass pic of the statue of David, the best spaghetti I ever eaten, stealing rocks at the colosseum, almost getting myself killed inside the Casablanca airport by two large Moroccan women (I’ll save that for a different post).

We were searched at least 3 times before being allowed on a plane to the United States from Morocco.  Since it’s mostly a Muslim country, security was extra tight but only when flying to the states.  I’ve never seen it like that anywhere else.  Absolutely no water bottles on the plane.  All laptops and iPads must be checked.  All passengers patted down as they boarded the flight.  I kept it light and simple with Jill’s mom.  “This is great!  I feel so much safer now that they’re being so thorough.  It’s one thing we can thank Trump for.”

I was responsible for Jill’s mom in getting her to Italy and back home again safely.  I tried my best to keep her calm but by the end of our last flight when we were safe and sound at the JFK baggage claim, her exhaustion got the better of her and freaked out a bit when I had to run back to the bathroom to fetch my phone where I forgot it.  It was the first time I had to leave her side and she nearly buckled in my absence.

We walked a lot in Italy.  I didn’t mind it since I’m working on getting in shape again.  It was a physically demanding trip and traveling is emotionally taxing especially when you’re not used to it.  We had some crazy long layovers and this little lady kept up just fine up until that point.

It was funny when we came up to the Capital building in Rome.  It’s an ancient building, huge.  With sculptures and fountains and pillars.  I thought of our little White House back home and compared it to their Capital building and thought..”The USA never looked so small.”

Rome’s streets are clean and safe.  So clean in fact, that I need to look up where they put their trash bags.  New York has their trash bags in the street to be picked up by the garbage men.  But not in Rome.  Rome has no garbage outside their establishments.  It’s really puzzling.

It was a good trip, I’m glad I got to see all those things now while I’m young.  I tell you, people always say to travel while you’re young – this is the first trip I took where that makes perfect sense.  It’s a lot easier when you’re young to do these things.

***********************************************

Anyway, today I had a student from CCMT (Connecticut center of massage therapy) come in to interview me.  It’s part of the program, to interview an owner of a massage business.

You want to hear something crazy?  Ten years ago, I was interviewing the woman who owned In Touch, the massage business that was here before my business moved in.  I interviewed the owner and decided I didn’t like her much.  Didn’t like her at all actually.  But there was something about that location that felt familiar.  Like I was going to end up working there.  It didn’t make any sense to me at the time because I told myself I would never work for that woman, ever.

And there I was interviewing a student today at the old In Touch, where I conducted my own interview ten years prior to some bitch.

It’s funny how things turn out.

I’m still entering the beginning phases of my retirement.  For the past couple days, I actually got to hang out with friends which never happens.  One of them even fixed my moped and got it working.

Today, Tuesday afternoon, I was zipping up and down my street on a moped.  Being one of those annoying people who got a new toy that makes a lot of noise but are too scared to take it out on the main strip.

I’m a 37 year old woman living at home with her parents, semi-retired with no real job, who has the time to zip up and down her street on a Tuesday afternoon on a moped.  I can’t explain why, but this reminds me of the feeling I had in Rome when I was strolling the streets in my PJ’s nursing a beer.

Something about it is so freeing, so carefree.  It’s a feeling I long for over and over again but it’s so rarely obtainable.

That is until now…..May 1st was the first day of my retirement but it really didn’t happen until the 7th.  Then a week later, my office manager went away to start her trip and I had to go to work to take her place.  Then it was my turn to meet her in Florence and I stressed about my financial situation until beer soothed it away.  And now here I am, I’m back home.

This retirement thing hasn’t really sunk in yet.  It’s May 30th, 30 days after the start of my retirement but really I only had about a week of it.  It’s hard to enjoy anyway when I’m worried about money.  Even harder to enjoy knowing I’m being sued.

I have no clue what’s going on with that.  My newest fantasy as of late is for those 3 women to drop the lawsuit.  My insurance companies won’t cover it and I’ve got no assets, so they get nothing.  If they hired a class action lawyer, she’s not going to waste her time.

Maybe it’s already been dropped?

I HAVE to not think about it.  You don’t understand.  If I think about it, I’ll drive myself into the mean Blue’s.  The meanest blue’s imaginable.  On par with heartbreak.

Today, after I gave that interview to the CCMT student, I found myself with nothing to do.  I didn’t want to watch TV, I didn’t want to nap because I already slept for 14 hours, I beat my video game, I didn’t feel like blogging or calling anyone.  I had nothing to do but instead of resting and enjoying my free time, my mind automatically jumped to the nearest thing to worry about.

The worry I felt, it acted like a rope connecting myself to the mainland – to salvation.  If I let it go, I would find myself drifting away uncontrollably.  I had to keep myself steady by worrying about my business, about money, about getting sued.  It was the only thing that made me feel safe.  Like I was in control.

When I have free time on my hands, my mind shifts into a dark place.  It’s the first time I’m cognizant to witness it happen.  It’s so hard to explain and I doubt anyone will have any idea what I’m talking about, but that old saying just popped into my head…..”Idle hands are the devils playthings” or something like that.

I always need to be doing something to distract myself from my worry.  But even when I distract myself, the worry is still there, it doesn’t vanish, but it doesn’t hit me as hard.  It’s tolerable.

If I have a problem, I have to fix it.  I can’t sit around doing nothing, I have to fix it.  My unconscious won’t let me relax.  Something is wrong.  And the more free time I have, the more likely the mean Blue’s will appear.  Because I can’t stop.  This won’t stop.

When will it stop?

As I look ahead at the future of my business, I’m sure that after the lawsuit (months after), there will be a recovery period and then the worry will ebb.

This is only the beginning of my retirement too.  I’m not acclimated to having free time.  It almost feels like I’m sinking, I don’t trust it.  And can you blame me?  I hate giving massages and yet at the same time, I need to give massages.  To feel like I’m in control.

I’ve worked so hard for this day to happen and it’s here!  And I paid $43,000 of debt off in one year!  And I just got back from Italy!  How many good things have to happen until I can eliminate this gruesome affliction?

Video games act like a medicine.  Hiking too and blogging.  Not to mention beer.  The more I think about it, every activity that I find enjoyable, is enjoyable because they distract me.  The more power something has over my attention, the more of it I want because without it, I’m sinking.  I sink until I find the rope attached to the mainland.  I’m slowly reeling myself in towards salvation, towards madness.

Okay, so I know this about myself.  That’s the first step.  Ayahuasca told me that I have to let go, over and over she told me I have to trust.  She said we’re only in control when we learn how to trust.

I also know that people who turn to spirituality, turn to it because they had their hearts crushed and 9 times out of 10 hippies are broken egomaniacs.  But I swear to Gawd that my time with ayahuasca was the real deal.  Just like Pope Francis is to the homeless.

I have to believe in the power of my awesomeness.

I gotta sleep.  I’m about to crash hard.  I hope it’s not going to be another 14 hours of sleep kind of night.  I’m hiking up my big little mountain tomorrow.

1 Comment

Filed under Italy, journal, Travel, video's

One response to “I’m back from Italy!!

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